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Summary: Most people are still confused on what a Brazilian Butt Lift consists of. Is it just a butt lift? Are there butt implants involved? This procedure actually involves a combination of two different procedures. Learn what they are here…

Enhanced rear ends are a trend. Thanks to Kim Kardashian’s Internet-busting booty, along with several songs celebrating shapely derrières, 2014 earned the nickname “the Year of the Rear”. There is little reason to think that buttock augmentation procedures will be any less popular in 2015.

“The media effect, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, are having a phenomenal effect on what patients want, what they are coming in and asking for,” American Society of Plastic Surgeons® (ASPS) President Dr. Scot Glasberg told the Washington Post.

The ASPS predicts cosmetic procedures for the buttocks will continue to increase.

“New ASPS statistics show that the butt is not taking the backseat anytime soon,” the organization says. “Buttock implants and lifts are among the fastest growing procedures over the past year.”

Specifically, the top surgical procedures performed on patients’ buttocks in 2014 were:

  • Buttock augmentation with fat grafting (11,505 procedures, up 15% from 2013 to 2014)
  • Buttock implants (1,863 procedures, up 98%)
  • Buttock lift (3,505 procedures, up 44%)

It’s clear that fat grafting is significantly more popular than other options. This procedure is commonly called a Brazilian butt lift (not to be confused with a regular buttock lift, which involves removing excess skin to lift and tighten saggy buttocks).

A Brazilian butt lift actually involves 2 procedures — liposuction and injecting the harvested fat into the buttocks. Anyone who is interested in getting his or her bum enhanced would be well advised to understand the liposuction procedure that’s part of the overall treatment.

Liposuction comes in many forms, and not all are appropriate to use as part of buttock augmentation. Some newer techniques, such as laser liposuction or ultrasonic lipo, destroy the fat cells to facilitate their removal; although this is perfect for achieving fat reduction alone, it’s not so good for a Brazilian butt lift, which depends on the successful transfer of living fat cells.

So what type of liposuction is best for using as part of a buttock augmentation procedure? When performed with an eye toward fat transfer, tumescent liposuction can best preserve the integrity of the fat cells. During this procedure, tumescent fluid is injected into the area targeted for fat removal. The fluid is a solution mixed with a local anesthetic to help maintain patient comfort, epinephrine to minimize bleeding by constricting the blood vessels, and saline similar to that found naturally in the body. Once the area is saturated, fat cells even in the deepest layers become untethered, making them easier to remove.

The surgeon inserts a small tube, called a cannula, and manually breaks up the fatty tissue. That tissue is suctioned out using a specialized syringe attached to the cannula. With liposuction alone, that fat would be discarded, but for fat transfer it is instead processed.

Plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Tantillo, a liposuction specialist in Boston, Massachusetts, who performs Brazilian butt lifts, puts that process this way on his website: “The fat (goes) through a preparatory process that will allow it to thrive in its new location.” That includes removing blood and other impurities. Then, a surgeon “injects the processed fat into the buttocks to sculpt and shape them,” Dr. Tantillo says.

The combination of liposuction and buttock augmentation results in improvements not only in the buttocks but also in the area where the liposuction is performed. That’s a win-win situation that is without a doubt contributing to this procedure’s surge in popularity.

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